The City of Florence has presented a plan for the safe reopening of 80 primary and secondary schools in September.
The analysis started in June by asking headteachers to provide their class figures. The city’s technicians used the schools’ floor plans to calculate the maximum capacity of each classroom before returning the data to the school for a cross-check. Meetings were held among council members and headteachers in the same neighbourhood to assess each institution, followed by site inspections. From this analysis it emerged that certain schools had too little space to maintain the necessary physical distancing measures in classrooms and certain premises required modernization: Masaccio, Ghiberti, Marconi and Montagnola are being upgraded throughout August.
Classes are being added in more spacious schools and the traditional layout of some classrooms are being revised, moving larger groups to bigger rooms and smaller classes to smaller spaces. In some cases, classes are being moved to non-classrooms such as storage rooms and warehouses. Only as a final option will classes be moved to another school within the same institution (e.g. some classes at Marconi are being moved to the nearby Rosai school.). Students will use separate entrances and exits to avoid any excessive gathering.
“Our teamwork will enable us to ensure physical distancing in all our primary and secondary (middle) schools, hence in-person lessons to guarantee time at school, as well as opening the dining halls and gyms,” commented city councillor for education Sara Funaro, on presenting the school reopening plan in Florence at the Palazzo Vecchio.
The changes call for a nine percent increase in teaching staff and a fifteen percent increase in administrative and support personnel, which has been requested from the Italian Ministry for Education.